Expert Says Don't Worry About
H1N1 Double Doses For Kids
Families in several provinces were expressing outrage and concern
Tuesday after they said their children got double the recommended
dose of the H1N1
Arepanrix vaccine, the untested swine flu vaccine which was
rushed through regulatory processes so it could be approved in Canada..
Now, medical experts say there's little need for concern.
Parents in Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia have reported
that their children received the amount in the adult dose instead
of the pediatric dose of the swine flu shot.
Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) has received reports of the
wrong dose being given out to children but cannot provide exact
figures, said spokeswoman Nadia Mostafa, who referred the question
to provincial health ministries.
The agency's guidelines call for adults to receive 0.5 ml in
a single shot of the adjuvanted vaccine. The recommendation for
children between six months of age to nine years is two half doses
at least three weeks apart.
A stressed-out father in Delta, B.C., urged parents to check
the dose themselves before their children get the shot. Jeevan
Tauro said his three-year-old daughter and 17-month-old son were
given the 0.5 ml dose at a Burnaby walk-in clinic Nov. 3.
In a telephone interview from his home Tuesday, Tauro said he
asked the doctor if they should return to the clinic three weeks
later to get the second half of the flu shot, but the doctor told
him not to.
The doctor said there was only one shot and no subsequent vaccination,
"so that raised my doubts (as to) what he had actually done,"
The receptionist told him his children had received the full
adult dose, he said.
Tauro said his son Ruhin developed a fever the next day, and
suffered a seizure four days later and was rushed to hospital.
He said a pediatrician told him two days later that Ruhin's high
fever was related to the flu shot and that the fever had caused
He was told to give his son Tylenol and the boy is doing better
now, he said.
Fraser Health Authority spokeswoman Joan Marshall said "our
medical health officer has followed up with the family and is
also following up with the doctor."
Information about the H1N1 vaccine has been provided to all Fraser
Health physicians through regular medical health officer updates,
However Tauro said Tuesday night he had not heard from Fraser
The Public Health Agency of Canada says on its website that reactions
to the vaccine were higher in clinical trials for children who
received a full dose as compared to those who received two half-doses.
This is an interesting statement from the Public Health Agency
of Canada considering that the H1N1
Arepanrix vaccine went through no safety
or efficacy testing without trials on a single Canadian before
it was launched. A simple search on the ClinicalTrials.gov
website shows that three "Rapid Evaluation" studies
for Arepanrix H1N1vaccine have still not even initiated recruiting
as of the date this article, weeks after the mass vaccinations
campaigns were started in Canada.
PHAC insists that the majority of adverse events are minor reactions,
such as soreness at the injection site or a slight fever. However,
it does state that sometimes more serious events are reported
- including seizures in rare cases.
It says the average reported rate of serious adverse events is
about one case for every 100,000 doses distributed.
Dr. David Scheifele, director of the UBC Vaccine Evaluation Centre
at B.C.'s Children's Hospital, said dosing errors happen all the
time with seasonal flu vaccine and parents shouldn't worry.
"Giving a young kid the adult dose may increase the mild
side-effect rate slightly. The leg will be a bit sorer, the kid
a little crankier. And maybe the risk for fever is increased,"
If someone has the flu or is exposed within a couple of days
of getting the vaccine, the flu shot won't prevent them from getting
sick, he added.
In Ontario, Peel Public Health said 11 children in Brampton received
the full swine flu dose on Nov 2.
Claudine Kneer said her two boys, ages eight and six, received
the full dose at a public clinic in Espanola in northern Ontario,
just west of Sudbury.
Kneer said her six-year-old got his flu shot first.
"There was a lot of confusion and chaos in the moments after
we mentioned that we think he had gotten the wrong amount,"
she said in an email interview.
"A different nurse, going on what the misinformed nurse
thought should be administered, then hastily gave my older son
a second dose of vaccine.
"In the end, they both got a full dose."
Kneer said her family is outraged at the mistake and "praying
our boys are going to be OK."
Last month, a Winnipeg woman said her five-year-old son had received
a higher dose.
Reference Sources 114